212 results match your criteria middle palaeolithic


A genome sequence from a modern human skull over 45,000 years old from Zlatý kůň in Czechia.

Nat Ecol Evol 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany.

Modern humans expanded into Eurasia more than 40,000 years ago following their dispersal out of Africa. These Eurasians carried ~2-3% Neanderthal ancestry in their genomes, originating from admixture with Neanderthals that took place sometime between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago, probably in the Middle East. In Europe, the modern human expansion preceded the disappearance of Neanderthals from the fossil record by 3,000-5,000 years. Read More

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The oldest Homo erectus buried lithic horizon from the Eastern Saharan Africa. EDAR 7 - an Acheulean assemblage with Kombewa method from the Eastern Desert, Sudan.

PLoS One 2021 23;16(3):e0248279. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Archaeology, Al Neelain University, Khartoum, Sudan.

Although essential for reconstructing hominin behaviour during the Early Palaeolithic, only a handful of Acheulean sites have been dated in the Eastern Sahara region. This is due to the scarcity of sites for this time period and the lack of datable material. However, recent excavations in the Atbara region (Sudan) have provided unique opportunities to analyse and date Acheulean stone tools. Read More

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Examining Neanderthal and carnivore occupations of Teixoneres Cave (Moià, Barcelona, Spain) using archaeostratigraphic and intra-site spatial analysis.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 22;11(1):4339. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES-CERCA), Zona Educacional 4, Campus Sescelades URV (Edifici W3), 43007, Tarragona, Spain.

Teixoneres Cave (Moià, Barcelona, Spain) is a reference site for Middle Palaeolithic studies of the Iberian Peninsula. The cave preserves an extensive stratigraphic sequence made up of eight units, which is presented in depth in this work. The main goal of this study is to undertake an initial spatial examination of Unit III, formed during Marine Isotope Stage 3, with the aim of understanding spatial organization and past activities developed by Neanderthals and carnivores (bears, hyenas and smaller carnivores). Read More

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February 2021

Nubian Levallois technology associated with southernmost Neanderthals.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 15;11(1):2869. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Centre for Quaternary Research, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey, UK.

Neanderthals occurred widely across north Eurasian landscapes, but between ~ 70 and 50 thousand years ago (ka) they expanded southwards into the Levant, which had previously been inhabited by Homo sapiens. Palaeoanthropological research in the first half of the twentieth century demonstrated alternate occupations of the Levant by Neanderthal and Homo sapiens populations, yet key early findings have largely been overlooked in later studies. Here, we present the results of new examinations of both the fossil and archaeological collections from Shukbah Cave, located in the Palestinian West Bank, presenting new quantitative analyses of a hominin lower first molar and associated stone tool assemblage. Read More

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February 2021

Short-term occupations at high elevation during the Middle Paleolithic at Kalavan 2 (Republic of Armenia).

PLoS One 2021 4;16(2):e0245700. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia.

The Armenian highlands encompasses rugged and environmentally diverse landscapes and is characterized by a mosaic of distinct ecological niches and large temperature gradients. Strong seasonal fluctuations in resource availability along topographic gradients likely prompted Pleistocene hominin groups to adapt by adjusting their mobility strategies. However, the role that elevated landscapes played in hunter-gatherer settlement systems during the Late Pleistocene (Middle Palaeolithic [MP]) remains poorly understood. Read More

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February 2021

Characterisation of charred organic matter in micromorphological thin sections by means of Raman spectroscopy.

Archaeol Anthropol Sci 2021 6;13(1):13. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Instituto Universitario de Bio-Orgánica Antonio González (IUBO), Universidad de La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.

Burned or charred organic matter in anthropogenic combustion features may provide important clues about past human activities related to fire. To interpret archaeological hearths, a correct identification of the organic source material is key. In the present work, Raman spectroscopy is applied to characterise the structural properties of char produced in laboratory heating- and open-fire experiments. Read More

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January 2021

Late Glacial and Early Holocene human demographic responses to climatic and environmental change in Atlantic Iberia.

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2021 Jan 30;376(1816):20190724. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

I.U. de Investigación en Arqueología y Patrimonio Histórico (INAPH), University of Alicante, Carr. de San Vicente del Raspeig, s/n, 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain.

Successive generations of hunter-gatherers of the Late Glacial and Early Holocene in Iberia had to contend with rapidly changing environments and climatic conditions. This constrained their economic resources and capacity for demographic growth. The Atlantic façade of Iberia was occupied throughout these times and witnessed very significant environmental transformations. Read More

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January 2021

Al-Ansab and the Dead Sea: Mid-MIS 3 archaeology and environment of the early Ahmarian population of the Levantine corridor.

PLoS One 2020 13;15(10):e0239968. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Our field data from the Upper Palaeolithic site of Al-Ansab 1 (Jordan) and from a pollen sequence in the Dead Sea elucidate the role that changing Steppe landscapes played in facilitating anatomically modern human populations to enter a major expansion and consolidation phase, known as the "Early Ahmarian", several millennia subsequent to their initial Marine Isotope Stage 4/3 migration from Africa, into the Middle East. The Early Ahmarian techno-cultural unit covers a time range between 45 ka-37 ka BP. With so far more than 50 sites found, the Early Ahmarian is the first fully Upper Palaeolithic techno-cultural unit exclusively and undisputedly related to anatomically modern human populations. Read More

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November 2020

Estimating temperatures of heated Lower Palaeolithic flint artefacts.

Nat Hum Behav 2021 02 5;5(2):221-228. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Kimmel Centre for Archaeological Science, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Production of stone artefacts using pyro-technology is known from the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic of Europe and the Levant, and the Middle Stone Age in Africa. However, determination of temperatures to which flint artefacts were exposed is impeded by the chemical and structural variability of flint. Here we combine Raman spectroscopy and machine learning to build temperature-estimation models to infer the degree of pyro-technological control effected by inhabitants of the late Lower Palaeolithic (Acheulo-Yabrudian) site of Qesem Cave, Israel. Read More

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February 2021

New perspectives on Neanderthal dispersal and turnover from Stajnia Cave (Poland).

Sci Rep 2020 09 8;10(1):14778. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.

The Micoquian is the broadest and longest enduring cultural facies of the Late Middle Palaeolithic that spread across the periglacial and boreal environments of Europe between Eastern France, Poland, and Northern Caucasus. Here, we present new data from the archaeological record of Stajnia Cave (Poland) and the paleogenetic analysis of a Neanderthal molar S5000, found in a Micoquian context. Our results demonstrate that the mtDNA genome of Stajnia S5000 dates to MIS 5a making the tooth the oldest Neanderthal specimen from Central-Eastern Europe. Read More

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September 2020

Species distribution models advance our knowledge of the Neanderthals' paleoecology on the Iranian Plateau.

Sci Rep 2020 08 28;10(1):14248. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Stiftung Neanderthal Museum, Mettmann, Germany.

Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) were distributed across a vast region from Europe to western and Central Asia. The Neanderthals' paleoecology and distribution has been extensively studied in Europe where the species originated. However, very little is known about their paleoecology in south-western Asia. Read More

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Fox dietary ecology as a tracer of human impact on Pleistocene ecosystems.

PLoS One 2020 22;15(7):e0235692. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Institute for Scientific Archaeology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Nowadays, opportunistic small predators, such as foxes (Vulpes vulpes and Vulpes lagopus), are well known to be very adaptable to human modified ecosystems. However, the timing of the start of this phenomenon in terms of human impact on ecosystems and of the implications for foxes has hardly been studied. We hypothesize that foxes can be used as an indicator of past human impact on ecosystems, as a reflection of population densities and consequently to track back the influence of humans on the Pleistocene environment. Read More

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September 2020

Early evidence of fire in south-western Europe: the Acheulean site of Gruta da Aroeira (Torres Novas, Portugal).

Sci Rep 2020 07 21;10(1):12053. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

UNIARQ-Centro de Arqueologia da Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa, 1600-214, Lisbon, Portugal.

The site of Gruta da Aroeira (Torres Novas, Portugal), with evidence of human occupancy dating to ca. 400 ka (Marine Isotope Stage 11), is one of the very few Middle Pleistocene localities to have provided a fossil hominin cranium associated with Acheulean bifaces in a cave context. The multi-analytic study reported here of the by-products of burning recorded in layer X suggests the presence of anthropogenic fires at the site, among the oldest such evidence in south-western Europe. Read More

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On holes and strings: Earliest displays of human adornment in the Middle Palaeolithic.

PLoS One 2020 8;15(7):e0234924. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel.

Glycymeris shell beads found in Middle Palaeolithic sites are understood to be artifacts collected by modern humans for symbolic use. In Misliya Cave, Israel, dated to 240-160 ka BP, Glycymeris shells were found that were neither perforated nor manipulated; nevertheless, transportation to the cave is regarded as symbolic. In about 120 ka BP at Qafzeh Cave, Israel, modern humans collected naturally perforated Glycymeris shells also for symbolic use. Read More

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September 2020

Speleothem record attests to stable environmental conditions during Neanderthal-modern human turnover in southern Italy.

Nat Ecol Evol 2020 09 6;4(9):1188-1195. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

The causes of Neanderthal-modern human (MH) turnover are ambiguous. While potential biocultural interactions between the two groups are still little known, it is clear that Neanderthals in southern Europe disappeared about 42 thousand years ago (ka) after cohabitation for ~3,000 years with MH. Among a plethora of hypotheses on Neanderthal extinction, rapid climate changes during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition (MUPT) are regarded as a primary factor. Read More

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September 2020

s and the evolutionary origins of ritual in .

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2020 08 29;375(1805):20190424. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

School of Psychology, Keele University, Keele, UK.

There is a large, if disparate, body of archaeological literature discussing specific instantiations of symbolic material culture and the possibility of ritual practices in Neanderthal populations. Despite this attention, however, no single synthesis exists that draws upon cognitive, psychological and cultural evolutionary theories of ritual. Here, we review the evidence for ritual-practice among now-extinct , as well as the necessary cognitive pre-conditions for such behaviour, in order to explore the evolution of ritual in . Read More

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Radiocarbon Palaeolithic Europe database: A regularly updated dataset of the radiometric data regarding the Palaeolithic of Europe, Siberia included.

Data Brief 2020 Aug 4;31:105793. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium.

At the Berlin INQUA Congress (1995) a working group, European Late Pleistocene Isotopic Stages 2 & 3: Humans, Their Ecology & Cultural Adaptations, was established under the direction of J. Renault-Miskovsky (Institut de Paléontologie humaine, Paris). One of the objectives was building a database of the human occupation of Europe during this period. Read More

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The Palaeolithic cave of Kalamakia (Mani Peninsula), Greece: new insights on the palaeoenvironment using microvertebrates and mesowear analysis of ruminant teeth.

Heliyon 2020 May 15;6(5):e03958. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Geology, University of Patras, GR- 26504, Rio, Patras, Greece.

In the present study, results from the examination of mammalian teeth from the cave of Kalamakia with modern techniques, as well as a qualitative overview of the microvertebrate and lithic material, are presented together with a revision of previous related work done for the site, in order to assess the palaeoenvironmental conditions in the area and the role they played in the Neanderthal's repeated occupation of the cave. Geometric morphometrics analyses performed on the first lower molars of spp. individuals revealed persistent populations of the subgenus Terricola, in which the presence of and are continuous through the stratigraphic units. Read More

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Muscle recruitment and stone tool use ergonomics across three million years of Palaeolithic technological transitions.

J Hum Evol 2020 07 26;144:102796. Epub 2020 May 26.

School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kent, Medway, Kent, ME4 4AG, UK.

Ergonomic relationships that minimize muscle activity relative to the creation of cutting stress underpin the design of modern knives, saws, and axes. The Palaeolithic archaeological record, and the > 3 million years of technological behavior that it represents, is predominantly characterized by sharp stone implements used for cutting. To date, we do not know whether Palaeolithic hominins adhered to ergonomic principles when designing stone tools, if lithic technological transitions were linked to ease-of-use advances, or even how muscularly demanding different Palaeolithic tools are on an empirically defined relative basis. Read More

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New insights for understanding spatial patterning and formation processes of the Neanderthal occupation in theAmalda I cave (Gipuzkoa, Spain).

Sci Rep 2020 05 26;10(1):8733. Epub 2020 May 26.

Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana, P° Sierra de Atapuerca, 3, 09002, Burgos, Spain.

The Level VII of Amalda I cave (Gipuzkoa, Spain) represents one of the latest Middle Palaeolithic occupations in the Cantabrian Region. It is characterized by the presence of Middle Palaeolithic lithic industry and animal remains, with clear evidences of anthropic and carnivore manipulation. At this site, the Neanderthal presence has been questioned in relation to the role of carnivores in the accumulation of large, medium-sized and small mammals. Read More

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Initial Upper Palaeolithic Homo sapiens from Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria.

Nature 2020 05 11;581(7808):299-302. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.

The Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Europe witnessed the replacement and partial absorption of local Neanderthal populations by Homo sapiens populations of African origin. However, this process probably varied across regions and its details remain largely unknown. In particular, the duration of chronological overlap between the two groups is much debated, as are the implications of this overlap for the nature of the biological and cultural interactions between Neanderthals and H. Read More

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A C chronology for the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition at Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria.

Nat Ecol Evol 2020 06 11;4(6):794-801. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.

The stratigraphy at Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria, spans the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition, including an Initial Upper Palaeolithic (IUP) assemblage argued to represent the earliest arrival of Upper Palaeolithic Homo sapiens in Europe. We applied the latest techniques in C dating to an extensive dataset of newly excavated animal and human bones to produce a robust, high-precision radiocarbon chronology for the site. At the base of the stratigraphy, the Middle Palaeolithic (MP) occupation dates to >51,000 yr BP. Read More

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Puzzling out the Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic transition.

Authors:
William E Banks

Nat Ecol Evol 2020 06;4(6):775-776

UMR 5199 PACEA, CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, Pessac, France.

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A 300,000-year-old throwing stick from Schöningen, northern Germany, documents the evolution of human hunting.

Nat Ecol Evol 2020 05 20;4(5):690-693. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

The poor preservation of Palaeolithic sites rarely allows the recovery of wooden artefacts, which served as key tools in the arsenals of early hunters. Here, we report the discovery of a wooden throwing stick from the Middle Pleistocene open-air site of Schöningen that expands the range of Palaeolithic weaponry and establishes that late Lower Palaeolithic hominins in Northern Europe were highly effective hunters with a wide array of wooden weapons that are rarely preserved in the archaeological record. Read More

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Human exploitation of nocturnal felines at Diepkloof Rock Shelter provides further evidence for symbolic behaviours during the Middle Stone Age.

Sci Rep 2020 04 14;10(1):6424. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Within the animal kingdom, carnivores occupied a unique place in prehistoric societies. At times predators or competitors for resources and shelters, anthropogenic traces of their exploitation, often for non-nutritional purposes, permeate the archaeological record. Scarce but spectacular depictions in Palaeolithic art confirm peoples' fascination with carnivores. Read More

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Fire and brief human occupations in Iberia during MIS 4: Evidence from Abric del Pastor (Alcoy, Spain).

Sci Rep 2019 12 4;9(1):18281. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

UDI de Prehistoria, Arqueología e Historia Antigua, Departamento de Geografía e Historia, Facultad de Humanidades, Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, Spain.

There is a relatively low amount of Middle Paleolithic sites in Europe dating to MIS 4. Of the few that exist, several of them lack evidence for anthropogenic fire, raising the question of how this period of global cooling may have affected the Neanderthal population. The Iberian Peninsula is a key area to explore this issue, as it has been considered as a glacial refugium during critical periods of the Neanderthal timeline and might therefore yield archaeological contexts in which we can explore possible changes in the behaviour and settlement patterns of Neanderthal groups during MIS 4. Read More

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December 2019

Heterogeneity in Palaeolithic Population Continuity and Neolithic Expansion in North Africa.

Curr Biol 2019 11 31;29(22):3953-3959.e4. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Departament de Ciencies Experimentals i de la Salut, Carrer del Doctor Aiguader 88, Barcelona 08003, Spain. Electronic address:

North Africa is located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, and the Sahara Desert. Extensive migrations and gene flow in the region have shaped many different cultures and ancestral genetic components through time [1-6]. DNA data from ancient Moroccan sites [7, 8] has recently shed some light to the population continuity-versus-replacement debate, i. Read More

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November 2019

Geochemical Evidence for the Control of Fire by Middle Palaeolithic Hominins.

Sci Rep 2019 10 25;9(1):15368. Epub 2019 Oct 25.

Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.

The use of fire played an important role in the social and technological development of the genus Homo. Most archaeologists agree that this was a multi-stage process, beginning with the exploitation of natural fires and ending with the ability to create fire from scratch. Some have argued that in the Middle Palaeolithic (MP) hominin fire use was limited by the availability of fire in the landscape. Read More

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October 2019

Bone marrow storage and delayed consumption at Middle Pleistocene Qesem Cave, Israel (420 to 200 ka).

Sci Adv 2019 10 9;5(10):eaav9822. Epub 2019 Oct 9.

Department of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, Institute of Archaeology, POB 39040, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel.

Bone marrow and grease constitute an important source of nutrition and have attracted the attention of human groups since prehistoric times. Marrow consumption has been linked to immediate consumption following the procurement and removal of soft tissues. Here, we present the earliest evidence for storage and delayed consumption of bone marrow at Qesem Cave, Israel (~420 to 200 ka). Read More

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October 2019

Cumulative average dietary pattern scores in young adulthood and risk of incident type 2 diabetes: the CARDIA study.

Diabetologia 2019 12 2;62(12):2233-2244. Epub 2019 Sep 2.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA, 92697-7550, USA.

Aims/hypothesis: The evidence for the role of contemporary dietary patterns, trends and predominant aspects of energy intake in a typical American diet and in type 2 diabetes risk is limited. Therefore, we examined the association between dietary pattern scores created to reflect the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) Scientific Report, a Palaeolithic (Palaeo) diet, a diet high in 'empty calories', and the A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS) (cohort reference) and type 2 diabetes risk over time.

Methods: We carried out a prospective analysis of 4719 young adult black and white men and women from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study with repeated dietary histories collected at study years 0, 7 and 20. Read More

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December 2019